Words of buffalo type

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Qaanol
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Words of buffalo type

Postby Qaanol » Sun Jul 07, 2013 3:38 pm UTC

I’m looking to find words that, like ‘buffalo’, can be repeated arbitrarily-many times and form a grammatically-correct sentence. So far I have come up with a handful, all of which are both plural nouns and transitive verbs:

Buffalo
Dice
Fish
Fry
Issue
Pike

Additionally, I have found a few more, also plural nouns and transitive verbs, which could technically be strung together into arbitrary-length sentences, but the result would, at least to my ear, be colorless green ideas:

Gun
People
Perch

So, are there other words with the repeatability property, and are there other patterns besides plural-noun-and-transitive-verb that permit it?
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Re: Words of buffalo type

Postby gmalivuk » Sun Jul 07, 2013 5:05 pm UTC

Does one fish fish, or fish for fish?

In any case, I think you're right that a word has to be at least a plural noun and a transitive verb for this to work.

The only other possibility would be a mass noun that has the same form as the 3rd-singular verb (such as if "pease" and "pees" had the same spelling), but I'm not sure any such pairs exist in English.

Edit: Actually, if it were possible for politics to politic, "politics" could almost be a word of the second type, if only it were also transitive.
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Re: Words of buffalo type

Postby Qaanol » Sun Jul 07, 2013 7:01 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:Does one fish fish, or fish for fish?

I admit that one is a bit of a stretch, and maybe ought to go in the second grouping by using the other meaning of the verb “to fish” as in, “to fish a pond”, in which case it is conceivable to “fish a fish” if you’re fishing for, like, ringworms or something.

But I think that, since “my cousin fishes trout” is valid, it should be equally valid (though perhaps somewhat less meaningful) to say someone “fishes fish” (as opposed to, I don’t know, fishing lobster or other non-fishes.)

gmalivuk wrote:The only other possibility would be a mass noun that has the same form as the 3rd-singular verb (such as if "pease" and "pees" had the same spelling), but I'm not sure any such pairs exist in English.

Ah, good observation. I had tried something similar with “means”, but it is more a singular-ending-with-s than a true mass noun.

Um…here we go: “physic” is a transitive verb meaning, “to treat with or administer medicine to” and also “heal, cure”. So “physics” should work. Thanks gmal!

Any other words work?

Edit: while words of the first type can form single-word sentences in the imperative, the same cannot be said for “physics”. But for N>1 it should work, as in particular “to physic” seems like it can be intransitive as well, so “physics physics” sounds okay.

The trickiest bit I’ve run across is 6-in-a-row, but I did finally come up with a way to parse it, again using the intransitive.

Indeed, for words of the first type, if they are strictly transitive, the only way I have found to parse 6× is by making it imperative.
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Re: Words of buffalo type

Postby gmalivuk » Sun Jul 07, 2013 7:41 pm UTC

Yeah, "buffalo" works 6 times because it's also a noun modifier, but words that are only nouns and verbs are trickier.
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Re: Words of buffalo type

Postby Qaanol » Mon Jul 08, 2013 3:53 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:Does one fish fish, or fish for fish?

…what I meant to say was, “That depends on whether you catch anything.”

gmalivuk wrote:Yeah, "buffalo" works 6 times because it's also a noun modifier, but words that are only nouns and verbs are trickier.

Well, if we’re going to allow capitonyms, then “Heat” is both a plural noun and a transitive verb (not a modifier though.)
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Re: Words of buffalo type

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Jul 08, 2013 5:31 pm UTC

Right. "Buffalo" works more specifically because it's a modfier that can (somewhat) reasonably modify the noun "buffalo", *and* buffalo can buffalo buffalo. I don't think there's such a thing as Heat heat, and even if there is it doean't heat heat.
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Re: Words of buffalo type

Postby Derek » Mon Jul 08, 2013 8:04 pm UTC

The word doesn't need to also be a noun modifier. "Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo" can means "Bison that other bison bully bully bison" with no reference to the city in New York. Having that as an option makes the sentence a bit clearer, but it's not required.

So "Fish fish fish fish fish" works fine.

Also you can take this structure arbitrarily deep, so you can have any length you want.

EDIT: Nevermind, I should read closer. I see now that the problem is that it's hard to add exactly one word to the above structure.

EDIT 2: Apparently there is a Police, Poland, so "Police police police..." works. Though it's pronounced differently, of course.

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Re: Words of buffalo type

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Jul 08, 2013 8:21 pm UTC

Still, in writing it's apparently the same word a bunch of times in a row, and exactly six times is just as easy as with Buffalo. (And yes, the point about Buffalo being nice was that it makes a string of exactly six repetitions possible as a declarative sentence.)
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Re: Words of buffalo type

Postby Derek » Mon Jul 08, 2013 11:17 pm UTC

Actually, wouldn't "Fish (fish (fish fish) fish) fish" work? Or for clarity, "Fish that fish which other fish catch catch themselves catch (something)". It's an unlikely structure, sure, but it's perfectly grammatical. It works because "fish" can be intransitive as well as transitive.

And now "fish" doesn't look like a word.

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Re: Words of buffalo type

Postby Qaanol » Tue Jul 09, 2013 1:15 am UTC

I just thought of another possible word: crew.

It is plural, and a verb, but somehow it seems awkward in these constructions.

Derek wrote:police

Good find, thanks.
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Re: Words of buffalo type

Postby Derek » Tue Jul 09, 2013 1:26 am UTC

Qaanol wrote:I just thought of another possible word: crew.

It is plural, and a verb, but somehow it seems awkward in these constructions.

That depends. In American English "crew" would be treated as a singular noun, ex "The crew is ready to go". British English would probably treat it as a plural.

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Re: Words of buffalo type

Postby Qaanol » Tue Jul 09, 2013 2:41 am UTC

Derek wrote:
Qaanol wrote:I just thought of another possible word: crew.

It is plural, and a verb, but somehow it seems awkward in these constructions.

That depends. In American English "crew" would be treated as a singular noun, ex "The crew is ready to go". British English would probably treat it as a plural.

Even in my wholly-American vernacular, “crew” is a valid synonym for “crewmembers”.

“Crew are responsible for trimming the sails, pumping the bilges, and swabbing the decks.”

“Crew perform daily maintenance tasks to keep the ships running.”

“Crew crew ships.”

I guess it works. Still seems a bit odd though.
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Re: Words of buffalo type

Postby eSOANEM » Tue Jul 09, 2013 7:30 am UTC

Derek wrote:
Qaanol wrote:I just thought of another possible word: crew.

It is plural, and a verb, but somehow it seems awkward in these constructions.

That depends. In American English "crew" would be treated as a singular noun, ex "The crew is ready to go". British English would probably treat it as a plural.


Depends on context. Crew is weird in that it is its own collective noun (strictly the members would be crewmen/crewwomen/crewmembers but that will often be abbreviated in interests of speed to crew).

(That said, I don't think I'd ever see crew as in crewmembers plural "e.g. the crews raised the anchor" so I might need to rethink this quite a lot)
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Re: Words of buffalo type

Postby mathmannix » Thu Aug 29, 2013 2:09 pm UTC

How about

Like like like like like like like like like like like.


?
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Re: Words of buffalo type

Postby Envelope Generator » Fri Aug 30, 2013 7:04 am UTC

It occurs to me that the cod cod cod cod cod cod cod cod and that if making the fish themselves genuine while giving them fake scrota instead isn't stretching things too far it could even be that the cod cod cod cod cod cod cod cod cod cod cod.

What's more, felt Felt felt felt felt Felt felt.
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Re: Words of buffalo type

Postby Derek » Sat Aug 31, 2013 5:45 am UTC

I was not aware that "cod" could be a verb.

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Re: Words of buffalo type

Postby Eugo » Tue Sep 03, 2013 7:02 am UTC

I'll put a mine to mine this mine of mine, where I mine the ore.
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Re: Words of buffalo type

Postby Qaanol » Wed Sep 04, 2013 1:15 am UTC

Envelope Generator wrote:felt Felt felt felt felt Felt felt.

Ooh, past tense and mass noun. Clever.
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Re: Words of buffalo type

Postby Envelope Generator » Wed Sep 04, 2013 6:32 am UTC

I didn't occur to me when I thought about that that felt is also an adjective and past participle, so:

Felt (adj) felt (n) felt (adj) Felt (rock band) felt (past simple) felt (past participle) felt (past simple) felt (adj) felt (n) felt (adj) Felt (Watergate guy) felt (past simple) felt (past participle).
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Re: Words of buffalo type

Postby tesseraktik » Tue Sep 10, 2013 11:54 pm UTC

Fay fay fay fay fay fay fay.
"Pixies joined together by other pixies who in turn are joined by white pixies lie close together."

Envelope Generator wrote:What's more, felt Felt felt felt felt Felt felt.

Gains gains gains Gains gains.
"Gains increases his/her earnings."
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